Is Direct Mail Dead in a Digital Age?

Welcome to 2017, where everyone is glued to their smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

In this digital age, the ways in which we communicate and consume information have rapidly changed. The prominence of traditional mediums such as print, radio, and television is rapidly declining and losing consumers to digital media.

Today, everything from news to shopping is available at the touch of a button. This free flow of information is making consumers spend more time than ever online. In Canada, Millennials from 18 to 38 years old spend over 5 hrs online each day!

Marketers have strategically responded to this digital shift by spending their advertising dollars on e-marketing rather than direct mail.

Some marketers have gone so far to say that direct mail is dead, but the numbers don’t lie – direct mail is here to stay.

With over 80% of brands using social media to build awareness, the digital landscape has become a competitive battlefield where brands compete for the 8-second attention spans of online consumers. The average person is bombarded with about 121 emails per day, making e-marketing potentially less engaging, memorable, and effective than direct mail.

Here are five reasons why direct mail remains successful in a digital world.

1. Direct Mail is Tangible

In a digital age, there is something refreshing and meaningful about physical, tangible marketing.

While we are exposed to hundreds of newsletters, e-blasts, and YouTube ads, direct mail offers a sense-driven connection that doesn’t exist in digital marketing. Unlike e-marketing, direct mail evokes greater emotional processing, which increases engagement and helps build stronger relationships with consumers.

2. Personalization Builds Relationships

When it comes to direct mail, personalization is just as important as communicating your main message.

Getting personal shows that your brand appreciates and understands its consumers. This personal interaction reinforces strong customer relationships.

When you personalize direct mail, the results are impressive. Studies show that personalizing direct mail as a part of a wider digital strategy for a campaign can increase response rates more than 20%.

3. Canadians Love their Direct Mail

 In research conducted by Canada Post, their studies show that Canadians are highly receptive to direct mail compared to email.

Canada Post found that:

  • 95% of Canadians open their mail the day it arrives
  • 68% of Canadians open their mail immediately
  • 70% of Canadians are likely to respond to flyers
  • Direct mail outperforms email response rates by 30 times.
  • Canadians consider direct mail three times more trustworthy than social media.
  • Direct mail’s ROI is more than double compared to other media platforms.

4. Direct Mail Complements Digital Marketing

Some consumers appreciate receiving offers even after they’ve abandoned their online basket.

However, with the average consumer receiving approximately 121 emails per day, your offers can easily go unnoticed.

Studies show that direct mail sent within 24 hours of an abandoned online basket has a conversion rate of over 40% and outperforms email by 16%. In other words, a multimedia strategy leveraging direct mail will always be more successful than a full e-marketing campaign, because direct mail can reach those consumers who don’t want to be contacted online.

5. Everybody Loves Direct Mail (Even Millennials)

Did you know that 41% of people over the age of 65 don’t use the internet?

Direct mail is the only way to reach this demographic who may be interested in your business. Many people believe that direct mail is for an older generation, but this is far from the truth. Unlike e-marketing, direct mail resonates with every age group across all demographics – even millennials.

Everyone assumes that millennials are too tech savvy to appreciate direct mail, but they’re actually more likely to read and engage with direct mail compared to non-millennials. According to a study by Experian, 66% of millennials open the direct mail they receive. And 63% of millennials who responded to a direct mail piece within a three-month period made a purchase!


Do you want to integrate your digital strategy with a direct mail campaign?

Print Three offers direct mail services that can help solve your printing and mailing needs. We provide services from creative production, to print fulfillment and distribution. To learn more, find a local Print Three location near you!